IMI directors reflect on concrete masonry promotion

International Masonry Institute National Director of Industry Development David Sovinski has retired after 28 years in positions supporting the growth of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers’ (BAC) signatory contractors and members, and representing IMI in The Masonry Society and ACE Mentor Program endeavors. One of the most significant accomplishments he cites during his IMI tenure is bringing heightened recognition to the value of structural concrete masonry units. “CMU is a wonderful material. Block can be both structure and finish, making it incredibly efficient and cost-effective,” he says, noting that concrete masonry can also be changed in the “field with relative ease, making it flexible to design and build with.”

David Sovinski
Roy Ingraffia

By helping to spearhead efforts like Direct Design software for masonry, structural coalitions, and IMI’s National Engineering Program, Sovinski, together with IMI and other industry organizations, has delivered engineers the tools they need to better design with concrete and clay units. “Dave has been a crucial part of building IMI into the impactful and thriving masonry promotion organization it is today,” affirms IMI President Caryn Halifax. “Throughout his career, he has helped generations of contractors expand their skills and businesses and created opportunities for thousands of BAC craftworkers.”

IMI’s certificate and certification programs, which offer advanced, specialized training for BAC members in conjunction with International Masonry Training and Education Foundation, play a key role in generating the work opportunities that create good paying union masonry jobs. “These programs give end users a tangible way to demand quality,” notes Sovinski, whose successor, Roy Ingraffia, Jr., transitions from IMI national director for Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives. During the pandemic, he has helped lead the creation of additional online training and education for designers. In addition, Ingraffia has brought IMI’s Contractor College online, helping to expand the reach of a professional development program Sovinski parlayed for more than a decade.